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A typical padiddle

Padiddle, alternatively spelled pediddle or perdiddle, is a Canadian and American slang term for a vehicle with a burnt-out headlight or brake light, or a game involving tallying up sightings of such vehicles. The term Popeye is also used, due to it looking like one eye is out or squinting.[citation needed] Fog lights do not count as a padiddle even if used as primary lights. There is no such thing as a double padiddle.[1][2]

Another version of padiddle, often called "banana"[according to whom?], involves spotting a yellow car, such as a taxi or sports car, and responding the same way. An optional variation involves calling out "padrunkle" upon spotting a car without headlights turned on at night, awarding the spotter double points. Padrunkle is also known as a rear light being out.[citation needed]


The objective is to be the first to spot a qualifying vehicle. The spotter must say, "padiddle," to earn a sighting. In some groups, the spotter must simultaneously hit the ceiling of the car or hit the window glass, and in others, punch or kiss another passenger. The person with the highest score at the end of the trip is the winner. In another version, the first person to get to 3 "padiddles" is the winner and gets to make a wish.[3]

In some variants the last member of the car to punch the ceiling loses one article of clothing. Following this style of play, the winner is the last person wearing clothes in the car. This is sometimes played in teams where every member of the losing team most remove an article of clothing.[citation needed]

Other calls for padiddle[citation needed] include:

Blue balls
a car with blue headlights.
Lance Armstrong
a car with only one blue headlight.
a semi-truck with only one headlight.
Wee woo
an ambulance without its lights on.
Party lights
Cop cars with lights on.
Car with both lights off.
Car with one tail light out.

Qualifying vehicles must be visible through the windshield of the vehicle; "padiddles" seen through a side or rear-view mirror only count for half a point. A motorcycle misidentified as a padiddle is a foul that awards the offender's partner a double hit or kiss. Players can not use their own vehicle as a point.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ O'Sullivan, Joanne (1 April 2008). I Don't Care If We're There Yet: The Backseat Boredom Buster. Lark Books. pp. 32–. ISBN 978-1-57990-848-5.
  2. ^ Gladstone, Gary (December 31, 1969). "Padiddle Hunt". Loose Change Memoirs.
  3. ^ Wheel, The News (2018-11-29). "The Origin and Meaning of Padiddle, the One-Headlight Car Game". The News Wheel. Retrieved 2021-02-25.